Kairos Prison Ministry Volunteer Opportunities
Kairos Prison Ministry Volunteer Opportunities
This past week, we had the pleasure to spend some time with the Friends of Batahola, who were here on their annual visit to see how everything is going and to spend time with the Center staff and community. The fourth area of ministry of the Kairos Foundation has a physical location: 40 km North of downtown Buenos Aires, among green lawns and leafy limes and cedars, works a small group of people that are trying to live out their Christian faith caring for one another, practicing hospitality to church groups that attend the retreat centre, being kind to the environment, offering special care to the needy, and optimising the use of facilities and funding.The ministry is designed to show God`s unconditional love to men and women who have never experienced any form of His love in their lives. In general, you simply need to select which facility you wish to serve in, submit a CDOC application to the Kairos volunteer coordinator for that facility (who will fill in any missing information and submit it to the correct CDOC volunteer coordinator), arrange to attend required CDOC Basic Volunteer Training (BVT), and complete a Team application for a particular Kairos Facility Weekend team.He found it difficult to contain his excitement as he continued to talk about his new relationship with God and the positive influence on him from the weekend short course. It was the stories of people like Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Victor Jara and the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, Oscar Romero and Sister Jean Donovan, Steve Biko and Nelson Mandela, Andrei Sakharov and Yelena Bonner, Cory Aquino and Kim Dae Jung that put a face on human rights and inspired thousands of volunteers to take part in a new and astoundingly effective non-violent global movement.The mission of Kairos Prison Ministry is to share the transforming love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ to impact the hearts and lives of incarcerated men, women and youth, as well as their families and those working in the prison systems. The word, Kairos, is a Greek word meaning in God`s Special Time or in the Fullness of Time indicating an opportunity for our participants and guests to re-consider their life choices - as hearts are changed, inmates begin to take responsibility for their actions - it`s like a front row seat at a miracle - transforming lives and impacting the world.The mission of Kairos is to help grow and nurture strong Christian Communities within state and federal correctional institutions. In 2010, the politically balanced Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East, an organization of Protestants and Catholics in North America, wrote a detailed critique entitled Cautions to U.S. Churches Regarding the Kairos Palestine Document” It was endorsed by St. Paul University`s Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations, and by Dialogika (as is made clear on the Christians for Fair Witness website).
The second to last day, the Friends and the leadership team from the Center were able to enjoy some down time at the Laguna de Apoyo. And although some of the Friends don`t speak fluent Spanish, it was incredible to see the relationships they have with the members of the team here at the Center. What a great trip, you Volunteers made it fun for all, and helped us communicate with all of your translating skills. Volunteers from Kairos of West Virginia have ministered to more than 3,000 inmates in state prisons since 2000.Once the prisoners become involved in the Kairos program, they are encouraged to share their new knowledge and feelings with other inmates with the intention of growing the Christian community in the institution. Involvement in the Kairos Community has also improved the success of those individuals released into communities through parole or discharge of their sentences. The weekends are led by volunteers and consist of carefully coordinated talks, discussions, music and chapel meditations. During the weekend, the teams of volunteers talk, share meals and pray with the participants.Kairos cookies are symbolic in this ministry as a sign of agape love and are shared generously. These cookies are distributed by Kairos volunteers to the prisoners as a tangible example of God`s love. Inmates may continue their involvement in the Kairos Community after their weekend by attending weekly prayer and share group meetings. The Kairos Program for the Men at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility takes place in Unit 720 Visitation Center at the prison located at 3794 Hwy 468 in Pearl. We`re here for you: we spotlight your cause and we do what it takes to get you the volunteers you need, when you need them. Kairos Outside operates in Marion and is for loved ones in Marion Correctional.Kairos Reunions (of Kairos volunteers and residents who attended a Kairos weekend) also are held at Franklin County Prerelease and Northeast Ohio Prerelease. The Kairos experience for residents starts with a 3-day short course in Christianity that is attended by 42 residents and provided by a team of 55 trained outside volunteers. The Kairos graduates” attend small Prayer and Share Groups, semi-annual Kairos Retreats and monthly reunions with the Kairos volunteers. Fill out the form below and / or check out the Toledo Kairos webpage to learn more.Kairos Outside is a ministry for female loved ones (wife, mother, sibling) of incarcerated Christian men or women. The attendees continue their faith walk in their own churches and go to periodic reunions of Kairos Outside participants. With thanks to God we are pleased to announce that Marion Correctional Center, which meanwhile transitioned from a close security prison to a new type of solitary confinement prison, has requested Kairos Prison Ministry to start the program again.
At this time we need male volunteers willing to serve on the Kairos MCI#15 team. Food, a big part of the program has to be catered by a DPS approved establishment which will tremendously increase the cost of the Kairos program. Kairos Prison Ministry is an Interdenominational team of volunteers -both clergy and laypersons- ministering to the incarcerated. Kairos is a four-day weekend teaching and demonstrating what God`s agape love, unconditional love, is like. Click here to view a 7-minute video showing you what a Kairos weekend is all about. As the Kairos team keeps growing, we can expand the ministry to additional prisons.The Kairos program currently operates in 350 prisons (14 in North Carolina) in 32 states in the U.S. and 8 additional countries: United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, and Canada. The purpose of Kairos is to help build and nurture strong Christian communities among the residents of correctional institutions. The Kairos experience for residents starts with a 3-day short course in Christianity. After a Kairos weekend, residents continue their faith walk by participating in small Prayer and Share Groups.The wardens and chaplains at the five Ohio institutions where Kairos Weekends are provided have very positive opinions about the Kairos Ministry. One positive is that Kairos volunteers keep coming back to the institutions month after month and year after year. This provides continuity in the ministry and builds security for the Kairos participants, because they witness the continuing support of volunteers. Many residents who are active in the Kairos program have become committed disciples of Jesus Christ.Another positive is that the Kairos program follows National Kairos Manuals , so the chaplains and supervisors know what to expect in every facet of the ministry. The wardens have reported improvements in the whole prison living environment due to the positive influence of residents that are in the Kairos program. Kairos South Africa started in 1998 and now operates in 19 Correctional Centres.South Carolina Department of Corrections did an in- house recidivism study on those who had been through the Kairos program. They found that Kairos experience brought a drop in recidivism rates from 36% to 26% when compared to their control group. Fewer of the Kairos men and women returned to prison within three years; fewer by 10 percentage points which is a 28% improvement from the norm. Kairos is an ecumenical Christian ministry designed for use in men`s and women`s correctional institutions. The student team is composed of eight students who have already done the Kairos retreat.